NEW YORK — Stefanos Tsitsipas shared his frustrations on becoming the center of attention over his bathroom breaks at the US Open, saying after his third-round loss to 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz on Friday that he didn’t understand “why everyone suddenly is against me.”
Tsitsipas, who lost a grueling five-setter to Alcaraz at Arthur Ashe Stadium, said he never assumed that he would be universally loved but said he has been facing negative attention for “no reason.”
“I took my toilet break as a normal athlete,” said Tsitsipas, the No. 3 seed at the tournament. “Might have taken a bit longer than other athletes. But if there is a rule that says there’s a specific amount of time that you are allowed to take, then I would probably try and follow that protocol, that rule, and stay within the guidelines and try and follow it as much as possible.”
Tsitsipas added: “For me, the only thing I did is change from wet clothes to dry clothes. Apparently it’s a huge issue.”
Although he didn’t name any players, Tsitsipas suggested that some in the past have taken “more time than they’re allowed to take” and that it has been an issue for him, “getting cold, not feeling my game, having to wait more than 30, 35 seconds in between serves that I had.” However, Tsitsipas said he never complained about any of that.
“Then you have these players that everyone knows they’re taking so much time, but no one says anything,” he added.
Tsitsipas also reiterated that the accusations about him using his cell phone to text his coach at the Cincinnati Open were “completely false,” adding that it was the “most ridiculous” thing he’d heard in his life.
Tsitsipas also said he didn’t usually allow himself to be swayed by fan support, but that he was surprised by the crowd’s reaction at Flushing Meadows.
“But I feel like, you know, people, they don’t understand,” he said. “They are here for the show. They want to watch tennis. They’re very impatient, especially the new generation. They just want to get it done quick.”
Much of the crowd Friday was behind Alcaraz throughout the match, booing Tsitsipas when he was warned of a time violation and a coaching violation. They also chanted “Carlos! Carlos!” during break points.
“I mean, fan support is important, but I just need to go out there and perform,” Tsitsipas said. “It doesn’t matter at that point.”